Seldom does a week go by that I don’t have a request from a friend to make them something out of wood. My stock reply is that I am not in woodworking to make it a business.
Some of these requests come as a result of a couple of web sites (this one included) where my work is shown. Although, I must admit, I have no idea how they actually connect with me – I don’t show any contact info.
However, most of the requests come from people that know me, or have been referred to me by people that I know. This past weekend I was asked by a friend to make a small jewelry box. I just love small wooden boxes, so the opportunity to make another one is always a big temptation. I was specifically asked to make one of these, but knowing the time involved and the intricacy of the construction, I said that I wouldn’t make one as elaborate as that.
It isn’t that I wouldn’t enjoy the process, and likely, I would make changes to the design as I did so because I’ve never made the same box twice – there are always some design details that I change. My unspoken concern was the matter of price. How could I ever charge her a mutually fair price. To my way of thinking, this box should fetch around $1200. I was afraid this would alienate my friend – so we never even discussed the price.
Never-the-less, she persisted by responding that there were other boxes she had seen of mine and then asked if I would make the one shown below.
Without me really knowing why, the conversation developed to the point that I agreed to make it. She said that she wasn’t worried about the cost, she just wanted one of my boxes – I’ll confess, it was an ego booster.
But, she’s a good friend. My dear departed father-in-law, once advised me never to do business with friends; it was good advice that I’ve always heeded in the past.
So here’s my question – what do I charge my friend – what’s a fair price – what is this box actually worth? I’ll let you know what we agreed upon after I’ve received your feedback.
-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/